Jeff Gordon will come out of retirement to drive in this year’s Brickyard 400 and expects to be at the front of the field.
Well, kind of.
Gordon will be behind the wheel of the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 pace car, bringing the field to the green flag for the 24th edition of the Brickyard on July 23, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The first driver to win the Brickyard 400 in 1994, Gordon went on to become the winningest driver in track annals with five wins (1994, 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2014). He also earned 17 top-10 finishes and three poles.
The four-time NASCAR Cup champion will also be enjoying a homecoming, having grown up during his teen years in nearby Pittsboro, Indiana.
He came out of retirement last year to replace the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. in last year’s Brickyard 400, which ostensibly will likely be the last of Gordon’s career. He finished 13th, the first race of what would become an eight-race stint in Earnhardt’s stead.
This will be the first time Gordon has not raced at Indianapolis.
“It’s hard to believe this is the 24th running of the Brickyard 400,” Gordon said in a statement. “This has been a very special race over the years – for me and NASCAR.
“Winning at the famous Indianapolis Motor was a dream of mine as a kid. I’m excited to lead the field to the green at this year’s Brickyard 400.”
Added IMS president J. Douglas Boles, “It’s only fitting Jeff will be out front and leading, a place where the fans of this great race are accustomed to seeing him.”